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Melting Cheese for Sauces

Have you ever tried to melt cheese for a sauce of some sort, only to end up with a greasy, clumpy mess? Melting cheese for sauces takes a bit more effort to do properly than tossing it into a microwave safe dish, and turning the nuker on. To ensure that you get the job done properly, all you need to do is follow these simple directions.

  1. Know your cheese. The trouble with melting cheese is that not all cheeses melt the same. This means that you will need to do a little bit of homework in regards to the specific cheese that you are using, and the best possible way of melting that particular one. For example, you don't necessarily use the same methods for melting cheddar or Swiss that you do for brie or blue cheese.
  2. Shred it. Generally speaking the best way to melt cheese (no matter what type) is to start off with the smallest amounts possible. This means that if you are dealing with a cheese like cheddar or Swiss, you will want to shred it as finely as you possibly can. If you are using a cheese like brie, which is already soft, then you will want to dice it into as small of chunks as you possibly can.
  3. Use a steamer. Place the shredded, chunked, or crumbled cheese into a the top part of a steaming set, you know the kind that is used to melt chocolate? Well, once you get the water boiling on the bottom part of the set, you can set the top portion on. Reduce the heat so that the water is now at a simmer, and begin stirring the cheese.
  4. Stir constantly. If you aren't careful, instead of melting cheese you can find yourself scorching or burning it. This means that you will want to use the lowest possible direct heat (hence the steaming set) and ensure that you are constantly stirring the cheese. This will help prevent, or at least reduce the chances of, any cheese sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning.
  5. When ready, add the cheese to the sauce. When you have the cheese as creamy as you would like, you can begin to add it to your sauce. Many times it is easier to simply add the other sauce ingredients to your melted cheese, and then stir everything together.

There are several methods for melting cheese, and the method listed is but one of them. In fact, it could easily be said that there are as many different methods for melting cheese, as there are cheeses. The only truly sure method for learning how to melt cheese properly is to take the time to experiment with the different types of cheeses you like. The fun part of this is that you will be able to have lots of yummy cheese to eat.


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